Antonio Brown’s offseason with the Oakland Raiders has been as well documented as any story in the news this year. From his frostbitten feet, to threatening to retire over a helmet, then threatening to punch his general manager and then posting a controversial video to YouTube, Brown had driven the Raiders officially insane. So they released him and in the process managed to recoup all of his $29 million dollars of guaranteed money. That happened Saturday morning after it was rumored Brown would be suspended for the season’s first week and then to be rumored he would play week 1 for the Raiders. The football world was in a frenzy over the situation, with many wondering whether another team would take a chance on the troubled receiver. Of course they would, he is a Hall of Fame caliber player! Which franchise rose to the occasion? Who else? The New England Patriots, that’s who. Brown inked a 1-year deal with $9 million guaranteed and another $6 million in incentives with New England just hours after being released from Oakland. He was ineligible to suit up Sunday night against – oh the irony – his other former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Pats have been the island for misfit toys for over a decade under the guidance of Coach Bill Belichick and future Hall of Famer, Tom Brady. Randy Moss, Darell Revis, Aqib Talib, Lagarrette Blount and Josh Gordon all came over to the Patriots and turned their careers around in one way or another. Brown will likely do the same. His talent is still through the roof and, if anyone can keep his personal nonsense at bay, it’s Bill and Tom. The Patriots, fresh off their 6th Super Bowl win under Tom and Bill, now at a team-friendly cost add to an already dynamic offense, arguably the best wideout in football and they immediately surpass the Kansas City Chiefs to become Super Bowl favorites for 2020. The Evil Empire is back for another run as the rich got richer.
Is your fantasy team in total shambles after week 1? We hope not! The NFL season has officially completed its first weekend of action. Result: There were a ton of fantasy surprises and a couple of fantasy stinkers in week 1. We take a quick look at the top 5 best surprises of this past week and guys who may be able to help your team all season long.
1. Lamar Jackson (Quarterback, Baltimore Ravens)The scrambling quarterback had just six rushing yards week 1, yet managed to put up about 40 fantasy points. Wait …. what? Everyone knew Lamar Jackson would be a threat to run and could be a good fantasy QB this year, but he never put up huge numbers last year like he did over the weekend. He went 27-30 with 345 passing yards and five passing TD’s on his way to a perfect quarterback rating. Granted, it was against the lowly Dolphins, but we expect Jackson to continue down this path and have a huge year as the Ravens look like a formidable team in the AFC North.
2. Sammy Watkins (Wide Receiver, Kansas City Chiefs)The Kansas City Chiefs WR2 played like a WR1 in week 1. In fact, he played like the number 1 wideout in the league! Tyreek Hill went down with a shoulder injury early in the first quarter and Watkins was already having a big day before that. He ended his day with 9 catches for 198 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. This was against a Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense that is supposed to be tops in the league. With over 40 fantasy points on week 1, Watkins should be a major threat for the Chiefs’ number 1 offense all season, with or without Tyreek Hill active.
3. John Ross (Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals)A year removed from running one of the fastest ‘40’ times in NFL combine history; John Ross finally had the big game everyone had been waiting for, especially the Bengals. Ross caught 7 passes for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns against a good defense. Bengals new head coach, Zac Taylor, formerly of the Sean McVay’s LA Rams staff, might have the passing attack rolling for Cincy this year. The Bengals may not be a winning team, but they could surprise people and score a bunch of points all season. Ross is available in over 85% of fantasy league formats. After a 30+ point fantasy week, you’ll have to move on the speedster quickly.
4. Danny Amendola (Wide Receiver, Detroit Lions)Danny Amendola’s career never seems to be over. After being a major contributor to the Patriots, Amendola went to the Dolphins and the masses believed he was done. Now he’s reunited with a former Patriots’ assistant, Matt Patricia, in Detroit and is immediately in the Golden Tate role on the offense. Danny grabbed 7 passes off of Matt Stafford with a whopping 13 targets and racked up 107 yards with a touchdown. Thirteen targets are no fluke and Danny is surely still available in your league. Snag him before it is too late, he is a WR3 until further notice.
5. Jamison Crowder (Wide Receiver, New York Jets)Jamison Crowder was one of the top slot receivers in Washington while Kirk Cousins was in his prime years. He has fallen off since Kirk left and has also battled some injuries. Crowder signed with the Jets this offseason and immediately became Sam Darnold’s security blanket. Crowder had a whopping 17 targets on week 1, hauling in 14 of those targets for 99 yards. In a PPR format, Crowder is a major player. He won’t score a ton of touchdowns this year, but he will rack up major receptions every week and is available in over half of league formats. A must add player.
- Mark Andrews, TE Baltimore Ravens
- DJ Chark Jr, WR Jacksonville Jaguars
- TJ Hockenson, TE Detroit Lions
- Malcolm Brown, RB Los Angeles Rams
The NFL season is 17 weeks long, but teams, players and organizations always want to get off to a good start. Week 1 can set the tone for the entire season or put a team in an immediate state of panic. We dive into the biggest disappointments from the NFL’s opening weekend.
1. The Cleveland BrownsA consensus pick to go to the Super Bowl, the Browns reminded everyone that they are still the Browns until they aren’t. Adding major stars to your roster doesn’t just make you a good team. You have to do it in all three phases, with everyone playing as a cohesive unit, week in and week out. The Browns under new head coach Freddy Kitchens didn’t do it as they suffered an embarrassing defeat in their home opener against the Tennessee Titans. They lost 43-13, a 30-point loss in their home opener when they’re supposed to be a Superbowl contender! The Browns’ postgame meal was a large slice of humble pie. Let’s see what kind of character they have after a complete dismantling in their own building. They go to New York to take on the Jets next Monday night in primetime.
2. The Miami DolphinsOK, we knew they would be bad, but this bad? The Dolphins allowed scoring records to be set left and right as they gave up nearly 60-points to the Baltimore Ravens. They looked inept. It’s one thing to not have talent and to tank, but at least play hard! The Dolphins host Tom Brady and the Patriots next weekend. Good luck.
3. The New York Giants Pass DefenseAfter a strong preseason and a rebuilt culture, the Giants came into week 1 full of belief and confidence. All of which dissolved quickly on the realization they can’t cover receivers or tight ends and they can’t rush a quarterback. The Giants pass defense made Dak Prescott look like Joe Montana as he racked up over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns, while hardly breaking a sweat. The G-men managed a stout run defense and their offense looked fluid, but we don’t think they can stop anyone with an average, or better, passing game. The Giants will host the Buffalo Bills next Sunday in their home opener.
4. The Pittsburgh SteelersAll the talk about cleaning up the locker room and setting the tone for a new culture is great, until you lose by 30-points in primetime. The Steelers didn’t make the Patriots work for one minute of their Sunday Night Football clash and looked to be way behind on the execution side of things. If their culture is strong, they can rebound, but their performance level is in question. The Steelers host a strong Seattle Seahawks team next week in their home opener.
5. New York Jets Kicker, Kaare VedvikThe Jets have enough talent to be a winning team this season and potentially make the playoffs. Their offense looked good and defense was solid as long as linebacker C.J. Mosley was on the field. Their kicker however, a question mark coming into the season, cost them the game Sunday. He missed an extra point and a field goal. The Jets lost by one point. Vedvik needs to turn it around quickly or he will be jobless before October.
Social media often functions, wittingly or unwittingly, as a major form of advertising. When users post pictures of themselves drinking Pepsi, they are unwittingly promoting it. Given the incredible amounts of time that millions of people spend on social media, it makes sense that companies would be looking to social media for predicable, controlled advertising solutions. To that end the NFL recently announced a new collaboration with TikTok, a social media service owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. The NFL hopes that TikTok will help to get popularity points with its generation z users given that it was the third most downloaded application in the US during the first quarter of this year. The need comes after Morning Consult data showed that football is losing popularity among younger people – TikTok’s audience – because they’re watching less TV and they’re playing less football because of head injury concerns. The NFL is going where their future audience is to drive them back into the fold. Adapt or die.